Posted by: debrakolkka | December 16, 2010

Vittorio Emanuele II Rome

I met a tourist in Rome who told me the white building in Piazza Venezia was his favourite building in Rome.  I would choose the Pantheon, but to each his own.  Many describe the Vittorio Emanuele Monument as kitch, and maybe it is, but it is also very impressive.  I can’t help but love it in all its proud glory, with its flags flying, gleaming in the sun.  What do you think?

Vittorio Emanuele II building

flying the Italian flag

Perhaps people are upset because the building is plonked in the middle of ancient ruins.  It is beside the Roman Forum and not far from the Coluseum, but Rome is a living city which means it must be a mix of old and new.

Vittorio's neighbours

between the pines

It is known locally as the “Typewriter”.  Soldiers in WW II affectionately called it the “Wedding Cake”.  The building was started in 1885 to commemorate Vittorio Emanuele II, Italy’s first king, and the unification of Italy.  Two staircases beside the monument lead to the top of Capitoline Hill and there is a lift in the building which takes you to the top to admire a 360 degree view of Rome.  I haven’t done that yet.


  1. I give my vote to the Pantheon too! I love round buildings and curves. I have never forgotten the one time I visited it. Are you going to do a Pantheon post, she said eagerly…. please, please!!

    • The Pantheon was under scaffolding when I was in Rome recently. Hopefully it will be uncovered next time and I can get some good photos. I love it.

  2. You’ve solved a mystery for us, Deb. We walked past this building and wondered what it was. Yes, it’s an impressive place resplendent in its Italian tradition, but not my favourite. The Pantheon took my breath away simply for its unique design and ancient history.

  3. The only memory I have of the building was squashing my nose against some glass and think…ohh, that looks big! I was 16 and on a bus.
    Like you said, I think it looks very proud sitting there.

  4. Yes the Pantheon is pretty amazing. I love Rome! I spent one day there a couple of months ago and would love, love, love to spend more time there.

  5. I’m not sure what my favourite building in Rome would be, but the Pantheon would definitely be in the running.

  6. I love this building. If people don’t like it, I think they should go inside and actually see the artifacts and read the heroic tales of sacrifice. The building is an honor to those who fought for their country.

    Great photos Deb. This was also one of my favorite places to photograph. It offers a lot of good angles with great lines of sight. I like your framing of the statue in the last photograph.

    • I like it for all those reasons. This building really divides people. Thanks for yur comments.

  7. Lovely photos, Deb, thank you!

  8. Hi Deb,

    I was in Rome in Sept. and also took many photos of Vittorio Emanuelle 11 building.
    Apparently the woman on the chariott at each end of the building is Nike the Godess of Victory. This is where the NIKE sports wear sign comes from.

    Cheers Judy

  9. Facing VE to the right at street level (under neath VE really) is a great museum that is free about immigration. They also have a resource center (in Italian) for anyone researching ancestors.

    • Thank you for the info. I will check it out when I go back.

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